e-Commerce Conversational Chatbots: A Case Study on Aster Online

Conversational chatbots are a piece of technology that use NLP (Natural Language Processing) to engage and communicate with users. They are built to be contextual tools that give responses specific to the user’s intent and are by far the most promising chatbots. With the help of AI they attain high intelligence levels and can understand the context and provide personalized responses to users. Additionally, the conversational chatbots use NLP and NLU (Natural Language Understanding) that equip machines to infer and understand human languages and intents behind their actions.

Role of Conversation AI Chatbots in Healthcare

Emerging trends  such as increased service demand, a focus on total wellbeing and rising  healthcare expenditure are pushing the adoption of new technologies in the healthcare sector. By putting conversational AI to practice, medical individuals as well as institutions are creating new ways to engage with patients. Due to which we are witnessing results like rapid growth in the development and implementation of several AI solutions in the healthcare industry. 

As per Gartner, by 2021 close to 75% of all global healthcare delivery organizations (HDOs) will have made investments in AI capability. 

With the surge in usage of technology in healthcare, software vendors are building more and more AI models and algorithms to uplift the healthcare quality. Nevertheless, many existing AI solutions are still at the nascent stage, except “medical chatbots”.

If you are wondering what a medical chatbot is, 

It is a conversational chatbot capable of performing some of the duties of a healthcare provider by communicating with patients in a human-like way. 

In healthcare, there are two types of chatbots: transactional and conversational. In this case study, we’ll look into e-commerce bots in the healthcare industry. Chatbots may aid with sales and marketing in addition to delivering customer service. We will use Aster Online as an example to showcase the efficiency of chatbots.

Benefits of ecommerce chatbots in the healthcare industry

Healthcare providers are always willing to extend help to their patients but due to the overwhelming workload offering attention to every single task is not always an easy task. An ecommerce AI chatbot can undertake various simple functions and be available to patients 24/7, answering enquiries, engaging with patients, facilitating sales, and so on, freeing up the time of medical professionals to tackle more difficult situations.

E-commerce websites frequently provide a wide range of services and features. It might be tough to examine each page to find a desired item, especially for more complex transactions. Companies from a variety of industries are increasingly utilizing e-commerce chatbots to improve and enhance the user experience. Customers may communicate with AI chatbots and gain complete assistance in shopping or fast researching options or alternatives. Chatbots may also help customers with exchanges, refunds, and delivery, among other things. It’s also one of the reasons why huge e-commerce enterprises have started using chatbots.

Check out below some of the e-commerce chatbot use cases in the healthcare sector

1- Assisting Patients with Sales and Latest Offers 

Chatbots may guide and advise web visitors by delivering answers and solutions to their health related queries. Through a company’s CRM software and chatbot analytics, companies can collect information to provide tailored recommendations based on past purchases, registered prescriptions and more. AI bots serve as well to communicate offers, discounts, and promotions to patients.

2- Providing round-the-clock assistance

Conversational chatbots may respond to consumer inquiries 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So, if you integrate it to your website, you can expect it to assist patients around the clock which will result in increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

3- Assisting with order requests

Patients may check through chatbots to verify the availability of a product in stock. They may also ask chatbots for detailed information related to products prior to making a purchase decision. Registered consumers can also retrieve their prior prescriptions and orders for a quick re-purchase.

4- Sending patients to live representatives

Chatbots can investigate a customer’s health inquiry, and if required, refer them to the appropriate person. They may also gather feedback and concerns, record them and route them to a live agent for better assistance.

5- Providing a user-friendly interface 

Conversational chatbots can learn quickly, and their interfaces are incredibly easy to use and navigate. They frequently lack functional or operational complications and have a relatively quick learning curve which benefits both patients and the healthcare sector.

Let’s talk about how Aster Online, a leading e-Pharmacy brand in the Middle East transformed their customer support via Conversation AI.

About Aster Online

Aster Online (AsterOnline.com) is an ecommerce entity, part of the decade-old Aster Pharmacy business, gathered under one roof – Aster DM Healthcare. Aster Online is a one-stop shop for high-quality healthcare and wellness products, backed by more than three decades of pharmaceutical retailing experience. Soon, Aster Pharmacy became a hub to get access to premium healthcare and wellness products after the introduction of Aster Online. It was the first pharmacy in the UAE to go online, one of many firsts in the healthcare and wellness space for which Aster has been known over the years.

Challenges they faced

With a backend contact center staff of 20 Pharmacists addressing all product inquiries received via phone calls, online (through live chat), and WhatsApp, the teams’ response wait-time was about 5 minutes, causing consumer frustration and dissatisfaction. Some of the key challenges they faced: 

1- Overloaded Contact Centre personnel 

2- No multi-language support to users/customers 

3- Delayed responses

4- Omni-channel absence 

5- Unavailability of APIs to the backend product database or web services

Aster Online relied on Blue Logic Digital to provide a solution that resolved the problem.

Solutions provided

  • Our team built a hybrid chatbot powered by the conversational AI design and NLP technology which is equipped to cover all of its key business use-cases.
  • As a solution to the API challenge, our solution architect team produced a work around which included the development of a SQL database hosted on the same AWS server as the product and the frontend. For the client to access and manage data in real-time a simple google sheet was created to upload all product information and also to add new data. We then ran a python script that parses through the entire spreadsheet of 7000 products and thereafter updates the SQL database.
  • Because of the wide range of products and sub-categories that fall under them, entity extraction was also important in the development of this bot. Our pre-trained data sets on eCommerce and NLU library provided an advantage to our development team in making this bot robust.

Some of the key-customizations added to the bot

  • System integrations: Product database, email, CRM, WhatsApp Business API, live agent (for complex and critical conversations that needed human intervention).
  • Conversation Design: English, both guided/hard-coded and open NLP conversations via deep learning. Arabic is in progress.
  • Customized UX/ UI: A mascot to make customer interactions more humane, conversational tone and design principles, widget customization.

The value added

  • Completion of this project took only 4 months. 
  • In three months, client sessions/conversations increased by 100 percent.
  • Live agent handover accounts for 10% of overall sessions.

Conclusion

Conversational AI systems in healthcare are intended not just to cover an organization’s basic information needs, but also to enable more actionable and customized interactions that ease business operations and benefit users. Furthermore, conversational AI interactions analytics give significant corporate knowledge to influence benefit creation, optimize working procedures, and increase communication. The overall impact is to provide a cost-effective self-service solution to create effective interactions between users and businesses. 

Ready to build a conversational AI chatbot for your business? Reach out to us to explore possibilities.